Divorce, as you’re probably discovering, is one of the most stressful things anyone can go through. It’s likely the end of your longest relationship ever, and the emotional tension at home is going to be very high. Although your head may be in pieces, this is an important time to have a clear, calculated mindset.

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Here’s some helpful advice for protecting your personal finances during a divorce.

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The first thing you have to do is get a clear idea of the figures. For a man in an average divorce, you can expect to pay a total of $20,000 in legal fees, real estate costs and finding another place to live. Professional financial advice and therapy may come into the mix as well. If you need to have your business evaluated, then the scenario can be even more pricey. While these figures are pretty typical, they’re not set in stone. The lawyer who made my divorce experience easy had cases where all the terms had already been decided, and there had been a lot of open communication between both parties. In these situations, the cost can often be under $5,000. However, this all depends on the minor details, and forming a solid estimate early on is essential.

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The next piece of advice I can give is don’t let your pride stop you from paying alimony. Typically, spouses will have to provide alimony payments in three different ways, depending on your state’s law. For the most part it’s a lump sum paid off in regular instalments. It’s important to note that alimony payments are completely distinct from child support. If you were the breadwinner in the course of your marriage, then you may feel a little resistant to the idea of alimony. After all, your spouse will be getting free income based on your hard work. No one likes making alimony payments, but odds are it’s going to be the better option when it comes to taxes, as alimony is tax deductible. Simply biting the bullet is usually better than a lengthy legal battle with your spouse.
Finally, make a big point of dividing property equally. Any experienced divorce lawyer will tell you that a 50/50 split is always easier said than done. Although you’re getting divorced, it’s fairly likely that you’ll still feel a lot of attachment to your ex. Due to this, it’s pretty common for the breadwinner of the partnership to cave into unbalanced arrangements. In most cases, this is simply down to the main earner being used to financially providing for their spouse. However, if you stick to this sense of being a provider after you have the obligation, you may run the risk of absolutely destroying your personal finances. When it comes to dividing your property, ensure you can do it so that you’re not left with a massive deficit and an even bigger regret.
Finances may be the last thing on your mind right now, but a smart, careful approach is extremely important. Follow these tips now, and you certainly won’t regret it.